Circles of Humanity (VOL. 4, NO. 9)

Here are a few things I’m sharing this month:

1. Question I’m living with:

  • “One day, a young man sat in front of me who had just confronted me about the question of the meaning or meaninglessness of life. His argument was as follows: “It’s easy for you to talk…you help people…but I – who am I, what am I – a tailor’s assistant. What can I do, how can I give my life meaning through my actions?” This man had forgotten that it is never a question of where someone is in life or which profession he is in, it is only a matter of how he fills his place, his circle. Whether a life is fulfilled doesn’t depend on how great one’s range of action is, but rather only on whether the circle is filled out.” – Viktor Frankl (Yes to Life: In Spite of Everything)

2. Quote I’m considering:

  • “People have (with the help of conventions) oriented all their solutions toward the easy and toward the easiest of the easy; but it is clear that we must hold to what is difficult; everything alive holds to is, everything in Nature grows and defends itself, seeks at all costs to be so and against all opposition. We know little, but that we must hold to what is difficult is a certainty that will not forsake us…that something is difficult must be a reason the more for us to do it.” – Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)

3. Poem I’m pondering:

from “Love After Love” by Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

4. Something inspiring:

Author Ursula Le Guin had a sign over her desk that read:

  • Is it true?
  • Is it necessary or at least useful?
  • Is it compassionate or at least unharmful?

5. My Rewild School manuscript is in the hands of five beta-readers. Here’s an excerpt from the conclusion I am having difficulty concluding:

Every time we circled up, with and without fire, we created a forcefield of fearlessness, a portal into mystery, a sacred space where we could say what we had to say and even though our voice was shaking know that it was okay. And, as you can imagine, showing up imperfect and incomplete and sharing our hopes, fears and dreams took a lot of vulnerability. However, within these vivacious circles of humanity laid an immense possibility. Namely, if we remained present for each other and gave of ourselves to each other, we could get to know ourselves better, get closer to the “why” of our existence and maybe help each other in the same way.

Thanks so much. And, have a great day! – shawn